Google has confirmed it will start charging mobile manufacturers a licensing fee for the suite of official apps within its Android mobile operating system.
The fee will apply to manufacturers who ship devices using Android within the European Economic Area (EEA).
It comes in the wake of the European Commission fining Google $5 billion for forcing handset-makers to pre–install the likes of Chrome, Maps and Search on their devices.
Google says the fee will come into place from 29th October. It's not yet clear how this will effect consumers, although price rises cannot be ruled out.
The move doesn’t mean Android is no longer free or open source.
In fact, manufacturers already signed up as Google partners can now use ‘forked’ versions of Android to create their own edition of the OS.
Google is appealing the European Commission, arguing that it is able to boost competition and help partners offer more affordable phones by preinstalling Search and Chrome, whose ads help to keep costs down.
If it wins, then expect its new fee to be dropped and the search giant to revert to its previous policy of insisting partners offer the full suite of Google apps.